It’s no great shock that Ron DeSantis won his first A.W.I. title last week, with 31 percent of your votes. He’s been consistently strong of late, and, if his desperation increases, he’ll likely spend more and more time waving his arms and shouting, “Hey, over here!”—metaphorically and perhaps even literally. Marjorie Taylor Greene continues to poll well (24.4 percent, for second place), as does Elon Musk (15.5 percent). They were followed by Kristi Noem, George Santos, Emma Watson, A.I., and King Juan Carlos. Maybe the stragglers should consider launching the occasional rocket.
The nominees in this week’s edition of the Attention-Whore Index Poll are …
The beyond-odious Carlson made headlines when he got canned by—sorry, “agreed to part ways” with—Fox News. (“We thank him for his service to the network”—and to humanity, they might have added.) Best of all, Carlson appeared unaware that his last show was his last show, signing off with “We’ll be back Monday.” Don Lemon’s firing by CNN the same day was too little, too late: this week’s A.W.I. candidate in the Problematic TV Personality category is a no-brainer.
The incredible shrinking non-candidate, last seen fussing over the frequency of monorail inspections at Disney World, turned globe-trotting statesman during an “international trade mission” to Japan, South Korea, Israel, and the U.K. Having recently come down on both sides of the war in Ukraine, he’s seeking to further buff his foreign-policy credentials. Meanwhile, he got sued by Disney.
KIM JONG UN
Playing through! North Korea’s dictator launched his “most powerful missile yet,” a Hwasong-18 rocket, from his private golf course outside Pyongyang.
The Mets ace was suspended for 10 games after umpires concluded he had an illegal, and sticky, “foreign substance” on his pitching hand, which he dutifully washed. And then in his glove, which he promptly replaced. But then, once again, on his hand. Cue the hiatus.
No new criminal indictment at press time. But he did go on trial for rape.
The Cast of Milf MANOR
Cougars, and we don’t mean mountain lions, in Mexico. This reality-TV series puts eight single women between 40 and 60 in a villa south of the border, with their decades-younger sons. Sexual high jinks ensue. The newest “new low” on television nevertheless has tens of millions of viewers.
marjorie taylor greene
“I stand with @TuckerCarlson. Wherever he goes.” And: “Everyone I’ve talked to has deleted the Fox News app on their phones. People are canceling their Fox Nation subscriptions. People are saying ‘I’m done with Fox.’” Why? Because Fox “caved to the woke mob.”
Continues to bungle his Twitter Blue check-mark verification system—which is turning out to be the opposite of desirable—by gifting the dubious status symbol (cost: $8 per month) to some famous users who aren’t even interested. “Despite the implication when you click the blue badge that has mysteriously re-appeared beside my name, I am not paying for the ‘honour,’” Ian McKellen tweeted.
And now for this week’s Diary …
In Rome …
NON MIA MAMMA!
Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi, the former Rita Jenrette of San Antonio, Texas, and widow of Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi, was evicted from her 16th-century, Carvaggio-ceilinged villa, the latest wrinkle in a five-year legal battle with her three stepsons over ownership of the residence. Carabinieri escorted the princess and her four poodles from the Casino dell’Aurora; all five were taken in by a member of the aristocratic Ruspoli family.
In Guandong …
EXTRA TIME OFF
A 14-year employee at an imported-food company in this Chinese province bested one-in-a-thousand odds to win a raffle at the firm’s annual dinner that entitles him to a year’s paid leave. According to the South China Morning Post, the winner’s slightly anxious reaction was “Who is going to do my work?”
In North Canterbury …
A new under-14 category in a rural feral-cat-hunting competition has been scrapped. “New Zealand’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was relieved the ‘children’s category’ … would not go ahead,” reported the BBC, the group having argued that children “would not be able to differentiate between ‘a feral, stray or frightened domesticated cat.’” In New Zealand, feral cats are considered pests and a threat to some endangered species.
In Sélestat …
Three protesters—two men and a woman—among the many who turned up to jeer Emmanuel Macron during his tour of Alsace, apparently crossed the line when they greeted the French president by raising their middle fingers. According to Radio France Internationale, the vertical digits ran afoul of Article 33 of the French penal code, which states that “any outrageous expression, terms of contempt or invective … aimed at a public official constitutes an insult and can be sanctioned by one year in prison and 15,000 euros fine.” Trial in September. That will be preceded in June, as readers might recall, by the trial of a woman who had called Macron “filth” on Facebook.
In Truro …
Four men were sentenced to a combined 30 years in prison after two of them forgot a bag containing $62,000 worth of heroin they were trafficking in a pub north of this city in Cornwall. In maybe just a faint echo of The Lavender Hill Mob, they determined that they had to retrieve it and went back to the pub. Which is where things unraveled.
In Tokyo …
The “crying baby sumo” festival is back. “Pairs of toddlers wearing ceremonial sumo aprons were held up by their parents and faced each other in the sumo ring at Sensoji temple,” reported Japan Today, following which “staff wearing oni demon masks tried to make the babies cry, with the first to bawl declared the winner by a sumo referee in an elaborate traditional uniform.” At Sensoji, 64 babies participated, but the ritual is held throughout Japan “to the delight of parents and onlookers,” if not necessarily the competitors. —George Kalogerakis
George Kalogerakis, one of the original editor-writers at Spy, later worked for Vanity Fair, New York, and The New York Times, where he was deputy op-ed editor. A co-author of Spy: The Funny Years and co-editor of Disunion: A History of the Civil War, he is a Writer at Large for AIR MAIL